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Hill-Evans, Keefer, Regan sworn into new roles

David Weissman
York Dispatch
  • Reps. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York City, and Dawn Keefer, R-Dillsburg, are first-time legislators.
  • Sen. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, sworn into new position after two terms as state representative.

Carol Hill-Evans was so eager to begin her new role as state representative that she assumed the position — right hand in the air, left hand on the Bible — before the House speaker was ready to swear in the 203 elected officials.

Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, left, shows Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York City, where to find her button during the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The former York City Council president laughed off her early start Tuesday afternoon before resuming that same position moments later and proudly accepting her role as the 95th House District representative.

Hill-Evans began her journey to this moment less than five months earlier, when she was selected by the Democratic Party of York County to replace the incumbent, Kevin Schreiber, on the ticket after he dropped out of the race.

She was one of three York County legislators who officially stepped into new General Assembly positions Tuesday.

Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Dillsburg, joined Hill-Evans on the House floor to begin her first term, while the man she replaced, Sen. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, took his oath across the Capitol Building on the Senate floor.

Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Dillsburg, during the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Keefer, who will represent the 92nd District, said before the ceremony that she was very excited and a bit anxious to get started.

The freshman representative has worked in state government before as a district director for former Rep. Will Gabig, R-Cumberland, whom she described as a mentor.

Keefer said she will be able to use that experience to her advantage, and she doesn't plan on setting her ideas aside just because she's a first-term legislator.

Schreiber transitions to YCEA head

"When I was a staffer, I was working to support (Gabig's) will, his drive, his ideas," she said. "This is about my ideas, my drive."

Keefer added that regulation reform will be her No. 1 priority going into her first session.

Senator: Across the hall, Regan recounted what had been a long process that began in March 2015, when the then-state representative announced his candidacy for the 31st state Senate seat.

Regan said he wanted to pursue the Senate seat to represent more constituents and have a larger voice, as he'll now be one of just 50 state senators.

Regan will use that larger voice to push for welfare reform, he said, in an effort to cut wasteful spending.

Regan's family, including his 86-year-old mother and 89-year-old father, showed up to watch him take the oath of office. Regan said he was especially thrilled that his dad was able to make it after he suffered through some serious illnesses during the last year.

Regan, Hill-Evans and Keefer were joined Tuesday by several York County legislators re-elected to their current positions: Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township (13th term); Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township (fifth term); Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam Township (eighth term); Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township (second term); Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover (second term); and Sen. Richard Alloway, R-York, Adams, Cumberland and Franklin counties (third term).

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.